Staunton, Nov. 8 – Academician Vadim Pokrovsky, a senior epidemiologist in the Russian consumer affairs agency, says that the number of people in the Russian population infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has risen to 1.5 million – or just over one percent of Russia’s population.
The health ministry disputes this, saying the number is only 850,000 – but the difference is that Pokrovsky’s number reflects test results while the ministry’s counts as infected only those who after getting a positive result choose to register with the government (tass.ru/obschestvo/16213717, novayagazeta.eu/articles/2022/11/08/nepriznannaia-epidemiia and rfi.fr/ru/россия/20221105-академик-покровский-в-россии-живут-с-вич-до-1-5-млн-человек-то-есть-примерно-каждый-сотый).
Pokrovsky’s figure suggests that the rate of infection for Russia as a whole is ten times that of the per capita rate in Europe. In some Russian regions, the figure is more than 30 times as high and corresponds to some African countries which have much higher rates of infection than elsewhere (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/10/14/seks-bez-prosveta).
The academician says that most Russians who are infected with HIV have contracted the virus by heterosexual contact and that problems in treatment are not the result of any sanctions but rather cutbacks in government funding for treatment of this disease. Moscow officials prefer to minimize problems and not address what is the words of some “an unrecognized epidemic.”